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SNAP Challenge Guidelines

Posted on: July 2nd, 2013 by Kashif No Comments

What is the SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) Challenge?

This challenge is open to all individuals and involves living on what would be the weekly SNAP (food stamps) allowance in Washington for an entire week, so you can get a sense of what it would be like to subsist on SNAP. This means spending only $3.25 per day, per person, on everything that you eat, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, seasonings and drinks.

How the challenge works:

  • It will last for seven straight days.
  • Spend no more than $3.25 per person per day, including beverages.
  • Only buy and eat/drink items that are allowed to be purchased with SNAP.
  • Don’t use food already on hand unless you deduct the value from your daily amount.  Salt and pepper do not count against the daily cost allowance, but all other seasoning, cooking oils, condiments, snacks and drinks do.
  • Try to include fresh produce and a healthy protein each day.
  • Don’t accept food from family, friends, co-workers and others. Avoid free food anywhere.
  • No outside food or dining out is permitted since you cannot use SNAP benefits on hot meals.
  • You many need to cut coupons or search grocery paper ads on days that items are discounted.
  • Keep a log of what was bought and eaten for each meal, as well as grocery receipts.
  • Keep a daily journal of the experience.  Did you feel deprived or restricted?  Did you eat differently than usual?  Were you hungry?

What you can purchase with SNAP benefits:

  • Produce and canned goods
  • Meat and dairy products
  • Dried goods, beans and rice
  • Breads and cereals
  • Baby food and infant formula
  • Soda, chips and candy
  • Coffee and tea
  • Seeds (whether for eating or planting)

What is not allowed through SNAP:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Cigarettes
  • Hot food or any food that you eat in-store
  • Medicine and vitamins
  • Non-edible household items like paper towels, toilet paper and soap

One family’s SNAP Challenge Experience

Posted on: July 2nd, 2013 by Kashif No Comments

Could you feed yourself on just $3.25 per day?

Many low income households are forced to do just that and survive on food stamps.

In order to better understand their plight and challenges, a few brave souls attempt to live on a budget of under $4 a day (the allowance provided under the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or SNAP)

This is the story of one local family who is taking on the food stamp challenge to see what it would like to live on a limited budget. If you want to learn more about trying the challenge, you can learn more about it here.


SNAP Food Challenge – Day 1

Today was a hiking day and we were not prepared with food. Using our combined daily allowance for Kaimyn and me, we bought bread, cheese, mustard, and two roma tomatoes.

Everything was on sale. We wanted fruit – since it is summer and the peaches & nectarines looked great. Our budget could not cover fruit!